David Murray wrote an insightful article on one of the greatest dangers in pastoral ministry–PRIDE. The posting is entitled, “The Pastor’s Worst Enemy.” In the article, he describes the causes, consequences, and cures of pride.
Unfortunately, I felt the sting of three of the consequences as they struck far too close to home.
- You will become impatient with your less gifted brethren in the ministry or eldership.
- You will become thoughtlessly insensitive to the traditions and customs of the past.
- You will become discouraged and discontented because “I deserve better than this crowd!”
How can you not read that without saying, “OUCH!”?
The posting is all the more timely and needed when it is read in conjunction with John Piper’s announcement about his upcoming leave. In explaining the reasons for his leave, Piper said, “I see several species of pride in my soul that, while they may not rise to the level of disqualifying me for ministry, grieve me, and have taken a toll on my relationship with Noël and others who are dear to me.”
Those of us in ministry need to daily examine our own hearts for evidence of pride.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23–24, ESV)